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Google is the Clown Suit Rental Store

The Clown Suit Rule..

‘One of the methods used by desperate businesses in need of revenue is to place somebody in a Clown Suit outside their business in hopes of getting folks to stop in. The Clown Suit is an excellent signpost to the impending failure of the business employing them. The only exception to this rule is the Clown Suit Rental Store.’

Google is the Clown Suit Rental Store.
The latest news on news is that Google to carry Complete Wire Service News! This is news junkie heaven, if the wire services are providing the complete feed/story. Getting the high octane unvarnished tale is preferable to recast/requote/rewrite. Unless of course, having somebody else taking charge of your life and feeding you regurgitated bias is your poison, which for a large group of the population is more comforting that thinking for yourself. The bad news is that this will be 1984 on a 30day cycle. Terms of the deal are a 30 day display and then it disappears. These folks are probably thinking that the paywall has value.

The amusing back story here is that AP is owned by the newspapers, who are screaming the loudest about the collapse of the newspaper industry, and that Agence France Presse (AFP), sued Google for alleged copyright infringement on the News site, despite the clear and present rules regarding Fair Use.

Panic in Dead Treeville!

The panic that local papers online and off are feeling is fully justified as they are dragging the ad supported model online. From PC World is this Nugget:

The new feature unveiled Friday is called “duplicate detection,” which lets Google News identify the original source of a story that may appear in tens or hundreds of news outlet Web sites. If the source story is from one of the four news service agencies that Google has licensing agreements with, Google will display the story on a page that it hosts.
Source: PC World

So yeah, Local Online NewsPapers will be outed for the posers that they have become, as duplicate detection will drop these folks from contention for your clicks and eyeballs. This gets even worse when you can get the original over a rewarmed version, the original will always win out.
(note: this is wishful thinking on my part as I assume that folks can and will think for themselves)
Currently local markets are entirely too dependent on wire service as a filler for advertising. Having Craig’s List slash the income from classified ads, just makes them more desperate to embrace the The Clown Suit Rule..

‘One of the methods used by desperate businesses in need of revenue is to place somebody in a Clown Suit outside their business in hopes of getting folks to stop in. The Clown Suit is an excellent signpost to the impending failure of the business employing them. The only exception to this rule is the Clown Suit Rental Store.’

Google is the Clown Suit Rental Store.

Online News Organizations also refuse to link to source material, which has been demonstrated over the history of the internet the best method of ensuring return visitors. There is a little bit of this happening, but not enough. Despite the number of years online, the fact that articles and stories can be updated on a moments notice, traditional news organizations refuse to embrace this as news develops.

Hold the Presses or Add some Pixels?

News organizations that publish on a 24 hour cycle no longer add value as news can be gathered online quicker and in greater depth.

Reporting and reporters on the local levels have been eviscerated by the quick fix of the wire service, which is an editorial and corporate decision to reduce those pesky human resource costs, like reporters….
Multi Market Conglomerates have also relegated their reporters to the status of farm team designated hitters, reposting single stories in multiple markets thinking that the cost per publication is less, which in the short term looks good on the balance sheet, but has cratered them below the waterline on the internet sea of pixels, and is sinking them.

The eyeball problem will not be mitigated until Local News becomes Local. Original, Focused, Timely, In Depth. When you are no longer a duplicate, your chances of being a destination go up remarkably. If you are not going to change, better get a Clown Suit.

Further Reading:
Matt Ingram Google and the wires torpedo newspapers
Dan Gillmor Google Now Officially Competing with Newspapers; So is AP
Steve Boriss Google deal uncovers truth that AP is now a competitor to newspapers, and papers are suckers for being members of it

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